I had the privilege a couple weeks ago to speak to a group of donors from Zach Theatre who were in NYC on a theatre trip. My charge was to not only tell the donors about NAMT and our Festival but to also excite them about developing new musicals. As many of you can guess, this is a joy for me to do and topics I can discuss for hours. Elisbeth Challener from Zach asked me to advise the group on simple ways they can get started with new musical development. My answer was quite simple: bring in a writing team for a residency. To have devoted time away from life in a room with a piano is always sought after by our writers. It is how theatres can start to build relationships with writers and vice versa. It is not even that pricey. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, a stipend for the writers and maybe a rental car are the only real expenses. If you ask nicely, I bet the writers would even play some of the songs they worked on at a cocktail party for donors at the end of week. It is also a great way energize the winter doldrums!
I’m a big fan of having writers in residence as part of the development process, which is why we have the Writers Residency Grants. The next round is not until September but I wanted to plant the seed now. Do you have access to space, a piano and want to help develop a new musical? If so, I know a couple hundred writers you should meet!